Since Shapeways introduced a new Porcelain material, they say they’ve been amazed at the creations that their community has made with it. With a range of objects from vases to coffee cups to figurines, the list of amazing products goes on and on.
But to this point, the Porcelain material has only been available to designers who signed up for a “pilot program,” but those days are a thing of the past as today, the company is making the material available to anyone as they open up the Porcelain pilot program to their general membership.
One of the first to work within the pilot program, designer Coretta Singer, made the lovely streampunk-inspired teacup and saucer piece you see above.
Singer, who calls herself a 3D generalist, artist and animator, also makes one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces with a bit of a steampunk and Sci-fi influence. An award-winning animator and the president of the Jamaica Animation Nation Network, Singer operates her business and her website, correttasinger.com, out of her home base in Kingston, Jamaica.
For their part, Shapeways says that when the Porcelain material was first introduced, they kept the pilot closed to allow them to work closely with designers like Singer on fine-tuning the processes involved. They say such “closed pilots” (where designers are offered participation one at a time) allow the teams to control the maximum capacity and the limited programs let them focus on innovating, experimenting and specifying design guideline, Because designers are allowed to virtually make anything they’d like to attempt, the need to limit the capacity means the materials team can focus on learning the details of the method and material before scaling operations for the full membership.
Shapeways says Porcelain is their first in-house developed material, so they found it critical to make certain it was ideally formulated before they opened the process to a larger group.
“We knew there would be a lot of questions surrounding such a new material, and working with a smaller group allowed us to personally connect with them to help guide the design and printing process,” says the porcelain materials team of the program.
And it appears the limited rollout has paid some dividends as the team took the opportunity to develop mold generation software and test it for the types of geometry it can accept, honed a variety of glazes to achieve brilliant results and expanded the team and standardized processes in preparation for scaling operations.
“Because our closed pilot program has been going well, and we’ve been receiving requests from designers dying to join, we’ve decided to open up the pilot to any designer interested in experimenting with this new material,” they say. “Our goal for this phase of the pilot is to scale up operations and have it ready to offer to shoppers in time for the holidays.”
If you wish to sign up for this expanded pilot program and see the full list of design guidelines and parameters for designing in this Porcelain material, Shapeways says to visit the Porcelain Material Page, join the conversation in their forum and check out some of the variety of designs being made to this point.
Will you design for the new Shapeways porcelain material and join the expanded pilot program? Let us know in the Shapeways Porcelain Material forum thread on 3DPB.com.